Back in the early 2000s, David Gerlach was a print journalist, writing for magazines and working at Newsweek. He, like most of his colleagues, would record interviews while reporting a story. A few lines from the interview would make it into print and then the tape — or minidisc or digital file — would be stashed and largely forgotten. No one ever got to hear these remarkable conversations.
Fast forward to 2013 and Gerlach launched the Blank on Blank series with PBS. The idea was simple: uncover lost interviews with iconic figures and bring them to life as animated shorts.
Since debuting on YouTube, more than 85 episodes have been released and watched over 25 million times. Over 275,000 people now subscribe to see episodes featuring lost interviews with everyone from Tupac and Meryl Streep, to Maya Angelou and Kurt Cobain. The interviews at the heart of the series come from individual journalists, media organizations, archives, and universities.
Blank on Blank was a Webby Honoree in 2015 and 2016.
Episodes have also aired on PBS television after Masterpiece Theater and as in-flight entertainment on airlines around the world.
The series has drawn an array of sponsors, including Dropbox, Squarespace, and Hover.
Executive Producer: David Gerlach
Series Director/Animator: Patrick Smith
Audio producer: Amy Drozdowska